Friday, May 06, 2011
Gotta be quick today...sooooo much to do and so little time to do it in!!
First, the tuna melts did not happen last night as planned. The boy who comes over after school had to stay later than usual and we had baseball (he ended up going to the game with us) so the kids ended up getting something at the snack bar and I had hummus and pita chips when we got home. So that makes it official...I went one week without consuming any meat (except for the hamburger cooties clinging to my daughter's pineapple slice that I snagged-and I'm not really considering that as meat consumption-my VERY vegan cousin would disagree, but hey...I'm allowing myself some leeway since I'm not vegan and just dipping my toes into the waters here-lol). How does it feel having gone one week without meat? Pretty darn good. I know that there will still be meat in my future, but I am enjoying the vegetarian eating. I've done far better in all areas this week than normal and my food has been filling and delicious. Gonna keep it up as much as possible...oh and BTW....another perfect day on Calories, Carbs, Fat AND Protein!! Woot!!
Quickly...how to make cottage cheese patties...this is a recipe of allrecipes.com I'm giving it to you as they have it, but I am in the process of changing it up and trying to eliminate SOME of the sodium :).
3 eggs (or equivalent egg type product-anything that is going to act as a binder will work)
1.5 cups of cottage cheese (I don't drain it, but will in the future, patties turn out a tad too liquidy if not drained)
1.5 cups quick rolled oats
3 tablespoons wheat germ
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion mix (if you are vegan or very strict vegetarian watch out for this ingredient...many have beef broth in them even if not listed in the title...this is the ingredient I'm trying to eliminate next time I make these)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 T vegetable oil (for frying)
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup (totally eliminated this when I made them on Wednesday).
I add as an ingredient dry bread crumbs (seasoned)
Everything except the oil and soup gets mixed together in a bowl. Shape into 8 patties and if using bread crumbs roll in the crumbs then brown in the oil...this also works just fine if you spray a pan with cooking spray and brown them. If you are making it with the soup you can also completely skip the browning step and put them in a pan and bake them in an oven until browned. After browning I stop here and then add my own sauce or whatever...however, the recipe then has you put them in a pan and add the soup diluted with half a can of milk or water. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (this way was good too, but REALLY packed with sodium). I made "sweet and sour" sauce...for enough for the entire recipe combine 1/2 cup catsup, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons up to 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard and heat to low boil in a pan. That makes more than enough and I drizzle just about a tablespoon or so over each patty (more or less sauce depending on each person's tastes so I always make plenty).
There you have it cottage cheese patties complete with what I do differently...here is a link if you want the full recipe and comments (which I always find helpful for additional ideas)- allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegetarian-Cot
Okay, so off I go...I have a Mother's Day Tea at my daughter's class later and then a Mother-Son dance at the school this evening and I have no idea what I am making for dinner tonight since I only planned out one week and never got back to the menu-lol!! Maybe the tuna melts will come out tonight :). Happy Friday all.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
So, today has been a REALLY busy day...up at 4:00 to go running, got home a bit before 6:00 and fit in some yoga before taking the kids to school a little after 7:00. Back home for a shower then back to school for an awards assembly where my son received yet another award for reading, I think I've been to every awards assembly this year-lol!! After that it was off to get groceries. I got to come home for a couple of hours before going back to school to get the kids. Instead of leaving right away though we had to stay for a PTA meeting.
This is where it gets really interesting...I'll have to back up a bit to give you a more complete picture of what happened today. Our PTA board this year has had a couple of issues, things weren't done in the appropriate way and things needed to be changed a bit, unfortunately the board sort of tried to re-elect themselves again. Our Principal wasn't going to stand for it and got Chapter intervention. The girl who would have been our next president removed herself from the running. This left a huge hole that needed to be filled...our District President and our Principal both know me. I've known our district president since she was a kid-lol!! It was the district president who called me and talked to me and made me cry when I hung up the phone. She asked me to step up and run for president and told me all the reasons why I should and why both she and the principal wanted me in the position. I was overwhelmed. That's putting it mildly. I accepted the invitation in a moment of insanity. The vote of confidence from the District President and Principal made me temporarily insane-lol!! Never, ever would have thought for even a moment that I would ever be running for PTA President.
Today was the election...I was TERRIFIED something was going to happen. On the other hand a really big part of me wanted something to happen so someone else would get elected instead of me-lol!!
Nothing happened...it was totally and completely uneventful and I am now the President Elect of our school. EEEEKKKKK. The biggest problem is my board is primarily made up of people who are just waiting for me to mess up. I'm going to do my best though and work really hard to build an awesome PTA. EEEEKKK. The good part is that I am not tearing apart the house looking for food-lol!! I had a snack of measured out hummus and pita chips and I'm not going back for more.
Today is Tuna Melt night...my first meat in 6 days. I'm adapting this recipe too...too much mayo. I use very little in my tuna salad...my magic recipe is 1 Tablespoon each onion, relish, and mayo per can of tuna :). Simple recipe...one can per 4 servings...each serving is one whole wheat English Muffin split in half and lightly toasted. Spread each half with a few tablespoons of tuna salad, top with a slice of tomato and sprinkle with cheese. Put in oven until warm and cheese is melty. First time to try it tonight. Kids like tuna so this might be a hit all the way around.
Okay, gotta go...someone needs help with homework-lol! Hope everyone has a great day/evening. :) My day isn't done yet, off to baseball soon :).
Thursday, May 05, 2011
This week I am striving to go meat free for the entire week, with one exception of tuna melts one day this week. My week actually started on Friday and I've had 100% success so far. I am not giving up meat forever, not yet, just trying to get a lot closer to meat free and want one week to see how it goes. So far, so good.
Tonight was tough though. I was sorely tempted tonight to ditch my plan and eat the same dinner I prepared for my family. Daughter has been BEGGING for Pineapple Burgers. This is an OLD family favorite, my mom made them when I was a kid, and one of those things that is really hard to pass up. Essentially you have two hamburger patties with a pineapple ring in between. Stick it in the broiler until cooked through then drizzle a "sweet and sour" type sauce over the whole thing (ketchup, brown sugar and mustard warmed on the stove). My description does not do them justice. Very yummy. So, I promised daughter pineapple burgers tonight.
As I start planning out my food for the day I am at a loss as to what I am going to have for dinner. Really had no clue, thought of a couple different things, but nothing compared to pineapple burgers-lol!
I thought that maybe I could make a version using some Boca burgers I thought I had in the freezer, no go...guess they'd been there awhile and I tossed them last time I cleaned the freezer. Then I thought of this item that was on my menu for later in the week. I made this dish once before and it was really good, but REALLY high in sodium so I wasn't positive I really wanted them again. Cottage Cheese Patties...sounds pretty disgusting, I know. I don't really like cottage cheese, but these are really actually pretty yummy. Originally the recipe covers the patties in condensed cream of mushroom soup. My idea was to make just the patty, add a pineapple slice on top and a little of the sauce. Kind of a veg version of the family's dinner. I checked recipes and decided it was do-able with a few changes (rolling the patties in bread crumbs to help them hold together better).
Went about my day, started the family's dinner and was kind of disgusted by the amount of grease left on my hands after shaping the patties and went to start on my version. I couldn't find the cottage cheese I KNEW we had!! I panicked!! What on earth was I going to eat??!! Hubs had cleaned out the fridge for me and I accused him of tossing the cottage cheese. For a moment I thought I'd be left eating the pineapple burgers with everyone else. Sounded so tempting. The perfect excuse to break my goal and to eat that meat. Except it was so greasy!! Lol! I didn't want the meat!! I'd figured out my plan and I wanted my version of a pineapple burger!!
In desperation I went to the cupboard and started scanning for something, anything, that would work as a quick substitute for my dinner. I found a can of black bean refried beans and decided on a burrito. So back to the refrigerator for lettuce, tomato and oh look, we are out of cheese, okay a burrito without cheese. I reach for a tomato and something catches my eye....waaaaaaaay back in the back behind a bunch of stuff, is the cottage cheese!!!! YAY!! Apologies to the husband, laced with "you put it way in the back" (yeah, not ready to really give up the frustration I'd just been through) and I went back to the original plan.
Whipped up the cottage cheese patties, rolled them in bread crumbs and cooked them in a pan. Went to get a slice of pineapple to warm up in the pan with the patties and the can is empty!! "Kaylie, did you eat all the pineapple?" "Yes, why?" "Well, I wanted one slice for my dinner." "Sorry, it was just so good." Can I really argue with my daughter eating fruit (even if it is canned fruit)? No....Okay, no pineapple.
Sit down to dinner and put a little sauce on my patties and YUM!! Not the same by any stretch of the imagination but still REALLY good and an acceptable substitution for a meal I really love!! Turns out youngest did not want the pineapple in her burger, so I took her slice and yes it had hamburger cooties on it, but I decided to overlook that fact and broke it into pieces and ate it with my patties and sauce. So, yeah, I'm not perfect, but I'm still trying :).
The plus to this? When I was done adding up my day....I hit the mark on calories, carbs, fat and PROTEIN!! Hey, wait, aren't vegetarians supposed to have a hard time hitting the protein numbers??!! Well, here is the funny part....when I eat meat I SELDOM hit the protein mark, and if I do I usually go over in fat. Huh, fancy that :). I do not expect that I will do that again anytime soon, but it is pretty awesome!! The only downside was that I did go over in sodium, which is not a huge concern for me past water retention. I'm going to be working further on that cottage cheese patty recipe and see if I can reduce the sodium a little more...it used dry onion soup mix as an ingredient, if I can ditch that and add some onion and other herbs or spices that won't add sodium it'll be a healthier recipe. Will give that a try next time I make it. I'm not a terribly creative cook so hopefully I will stumble upon something great-lol!!
In the end it all worked out, I'm still doing great, I even totally resisted eating the leftovers on my kids' plates-lol!!
Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to find a way to make it work. Today I made it work and that feels pretty darn awesome!! That combined with more than the required amount of water (it's been really hot here and more water is pretty much required), a great strength workout, a great yoga session (yoga fusion that counts as cardio), an abs/cardio workout, and a walk made today an awesome day!! Oh, and I almost forgot!!...All of that made me feel STRONG :)!!
Hope everyone else had/has a great day too :).
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Happy Tuesday all! Yesterday was a kind of rocky Monday, as they tend to be sometimes, but got through it and did it pretty well.
Walked to pick up the kids from school, despite it being a tad toasty yesterday (in the 90's), fortunately the wind settled down to a breeze and kept things a bit more comfy. Got in some strength training, but not all of it because I had to stop to make dinner and then never got back...dang it. Oh well, I did the majority of what I set out to do and am okay with it...if I really want to I can fit in the other part of strength today :).
Dinner last night was a success, well, sort of. Husband and son had baseball practice and we ended up doing what we never do and ate in two groups. My mom, myself and the girls in one shift, my husband and son in the second. I made hamburger helper (ugggh) for the kids and husband and Creamy Quinoa Primavera for myself and anybody else who wanted it.
To be fair to the Quinoa, I took this pic this morning, after it had been smushed in the container, in the refrigerator all night. This was SOOOOOOOO yummy!! My adventurous six year old also loved it she ate all of the first small serving I gave her and asked for more. She ate more of this than she did hamburger helper!!! Ingredients are Quinoa (a grain for those not familiar with it---pronounce KEEN-WAH), 5 cups miscellaneous vegetables, I used zucchini, tomatoes and peas (it's what I had on hand and sounded good), some garlic, a teaspoon of dried basil (my fresh isn't big enough to use yet), 3 oz of low-fat cream cheese and a sprinkle of Romano cheese ( I used the Parmesan and Romano blend I buy for spaghetti). It was soooo goooood and sooo filling. And, I'll tell ya, when I opened the container to take the pic, the smell made me drool, it smells so good, even cold!! I did not miss the hamburger helper AT ALL! Yesterday I wrote about operation almost vegetarian...I have a lot to learn and I need to learn to think ahead.
First, I am working on vegetarian living which means I can still use milk and cheese, etc, but the more I think about it the more I want to try finding good options for milk and cheese too...right now it is not a priority as I work on figuring out how to get just meat out of our diet, but I can see that change coming on the horizon. The other part is thinking ahead. I didn't CAREFULLY read the recipe and it used chicken broth for the liquid. As a meat eating household I have chicken and beef bullion cubes and/or granules in my cupboards, but not vegi broth. So, I went ahead and used beef broth (forgot I'd used up all the chicken) since it was a new recipe and I am not so great a chef that I am comfortable altering recipes I've never tried. So, I need to keep vegi broth on hand to use in recipes as an alternate to animal broth. I had a light bulb moment here and I'm sure some of you will be thinking "well, duh", but while I am a competent cook, I'm not necessarily a creative one-lol!! So, anyways, anytime I cook with vegetables there are always bits and pieces left over. For example, last night I didn't need all of the zucchini I sliced up for the Quinoa dish. Why don't I keep a storage bag in the freezer and add all those bits and pieces until I have a decent collection and use that to make homemade vegi broth and then freeze that in 1 cup containers to have on hand? I know, duh, right? LOL!! On some recipes I'm more familiar with I can just use water and then individually we can adjust for more sodium if needed (all meat broth is anyways is a little flavor and lots of sodium). Any thoughts on this? Anyone with more experience have any tips or suggestions? I know I can get canned vegi broth, do they make vegi granules?
Okay, moving on...several of you asked about my Lentil Tacos recipe...here is the link... allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tasty-Lentil-T
We LOVE this recipe! It calls for hard taco shells, which my kids love, but more often we use soft tortillas and make it a burrito or a wrap. Use whole wheat for a much healthier option. We seldom use the sour cream in the recipe. I love mine as a burrito packed with lettuce and tomato. We have always used the beef broth in the past, but I'll be making it this time with vegi broth and we'll see how that goes.
Moving forward, still have a run on board for later today, thinking I'll take the kids to the park while I run, I'll walk again to get the kids and fit in a 30 minute walk and when I am done here it is house work and then some yoga and that other part of strength training, before getting the kids....time to get busy...this day is moving forward without me-lol!!!
Monday, May 02, 2011
Sounds kind of strange doesn't it..."almost vegetarian". What is an "almost vegetarian"?
My family members are carnivores. My husband grew up in a very serious "meat and potatoes" family. I mean really, they come from Idaho!! Literally, meat and potatoes!! And milk, that man drinks more milk than my kids!! Anyways, for a long time I've been concerned about the amount of meat in our diet and I guess I'll go ahead and list the reasons, in no particular order.
1. Cholesterol-my husband's is chronically high.
2. The cost. Meat is horribly expensive if you are buying the good stuff (except ground turkey which I can usually get cheaper and leaner than ground beef).
3. The meat industry is horribly disgusting.
a. how meat is slaughtered
b. the hormones and medications given the animals get into our food
c. the lack of general respect given the animal during its entire life span
d. having purchase a pig raised by my SIL, we also know that meat raised with respect and good food, no hormones and no meds before slaughter and slaughtered with respect tastes a MILLION times better than anything bought at the store.
4. Meat should be a condiment not an entree
5. How I feel after a heavy on the meat meal
6. I honestly believe that the things grown from the earth were intended to be the main food supply for man, with meat taking a place during cold winter months when produce is in short supply.
7. I don't like the idea of how we needlessly slaughter so many animals. It is wasteful what we do. Going out and raising and slaughtering your own stock for your family is one thing to take an entire herd of cattle and slaughter them and then ship them to market where a goodly portion of that meat is going to end up in the dumpster seems so wrong. I also feel that how we treat the fish and other creatures in our oceans is a disgrace. Raise a tuna, shrimp, lobster, whatever on a farm, we don't need to empty our oceans of every living thing, including creatures we do not consume, like dolphin and sea turtle.
With all those things in mind and probably some I didn't list because they aren't coming to mind right now, I've often thought that we need to eat a bit more vegetarian and a lot less carnivore. My family has rejected this plan wholeheartedly the majority of the time. My one major success is my lentil tacos. They all like the lentil tacos-lol! They deserve to be liked, they are really, really yummy. Unfortunately, they are not actually 100 % vegetarian...I use beef broth to soak the lentils so they still taste like meat .
Lately I've been reading the book "Skinny B----". My son asks me why I am reading a book with a bad word in the title. I've had to explain the whole concept of stereotype and a few other things. A friend sent me a copy of the book and I've been reading it. I don't completely agree with everything in the book, but they do make valid points. Points I've been making to myself and my family.
So...I got out a couple cookbooks and got some recipes from allrecipes.com and I've put together a menu for the week that includes foods my family will eat, mixed with some foods I want us to eat. For them it will be a side dish. For me it is my meal.
I will spend this week passing on nearly all of the meat being served and I will have veg dishes and salads. My one exception will be the tuna melts coming up. They just sound too good :). Dolphin safe tuna, a whole wheat English muffin, a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of cheese, toasted in the oven. Mmmm. Making myself hungry :).
Quinoa, wheat berries and lentils are playing a major role in my diet this week. I will be making my tacos, but with less broth and more water to start adjusting our tastes to the natural flavor of things instead of the high sodium, beef-ish flavor.
This experiment actually started on Friday when I cooked some hamburgers for the family and I had cauliflower soup. I had soup again on Saturday while they had mac n' cheese (and then, later pizza-I ate half a pepperoni left on my daughter's slice (she made me pick off the pepperoni and I missed half a one-lol)). Yesterday was a vegetarian day for everyone, but I still did something a bit different.
I made polenta for myself. Made with water, whole corn and cornmeal this recipe is really good and super low fat. One teaspoon of butter in an eight serving recipe. I sliced and browned the polenta in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. I then sprinkled with a tiny bit of cheddar (we were out of Parmesan so everybody was using cheddar, and then poured the marinara everybody was using for their noodles over the polenta. Sooooo yummy and soooo much more filling than noodles. Less processed too. Tonight is son's favorite Teriyaki beef and rice. I'm making a Creamy quinoa primavera for myself. Quinoa, neufchatel (aka low fat cream cheese), and a variety of vegis, I'm using zucchini, tomatoes and peas. Have to hit the store later and if I can find asparagus for a good price might throw in a bit of that too. My peas in my garden are putting out pods, wish they were big enough to eat, would love to throw in those instead of the frozen I'm using. Oh well, if the recipe is as good as it sounds I'll make it again when my garden is producing better .
So, once again this is really long....this week is going to be operation almost vegetarian and we'll see how it goes and maybe, just maybe, my family will decide they like some of the things I will make and we can continue to cut a lot less meat and add a little more veg and live a little more healthily.
Get An Email Alert Each Time ITSHOWYOULIVE Posts